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Neuroimage. 2010 Jan 15;49(2):1171-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.09.063. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Comparison of functional and cytoarchitectonic maps of human visual areas V1, V2, V3d, V3v, and V4(v).

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Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1, INM-2, INM-3), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany.


Cytoarchitectonic maps of human striate and extrastriate visual cortex based upon post-mortem brains can be correlated with functionally defined cortical areas using, for example, fMRI. We here assess the correspondence of anatomical maps of the visual cortex with functionally defined in vivo visual areas using retinotopic mapping. To this end, anatomical maximum probability maps (aMPM) derived from individual cytoarchitectonic maps of striate and extrastriate visual areas were compared with functional localisers for the early visual areas. Using fMRI, we delineated dorsal and ventral human retinotopic areas V1, V2, and V3, as well as a quarter-field visual field representation lateral to V3v, V4(v), in 24 healthy subjects. Based on these individual definitions, a functional maximum probability map (fMPM) was then computed in analogy to the aMPM. Functional and anatomical MPMs were highly correlated at group level: 78.5% of activated voxels in the fMPM were correctly assigned by the aMPM. The group aMPM was less effective in predicting functional retinotopic areas in the individual brain due to the large inter-individual variability in the location and extent of visual areas (mean overlap 32-69%). We conclude that cytoarchitectonic maps of striate and extrastriate visual areas may provide a valuable method for assigning functional group activations and thus add valuable a priori knowledge to the analysis of functional imaging data of the visual cortex.

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